The driver for a Nicaraguan diplomat named Cesar Mercado found his employer dead in a sixth-floor Bronx apartment this morning. The 34-year-old Mercado's throat had been cut. New York City police say the door was left ajar and the murder weapon still in the apartment. So far, there's not much public information about this incident, which comes as the central American nation joins the rest of the world's leaders at the United Nations General Assembly. Here's what little we know about the death of Mercado.
Mercado Worked in NYC for 8 Years, Including Yesterday The New York Times' Ray Rivera and Al Baker say Mercado is "a senior consulate officer who had been working in New York for the past eight years, and who had been performing the duties of Nicaragua’s consul general." CNN's Susan Candiotti adds, "Danilo Rosales Diaz, deputy permanent representative of Nicaragua to the United States ... [said] 'He was here yesterday, working yesterday,' ... adding that the death was a 'shock.'" The New York Daily News calls him "No. 2 in the mission after the ambassador."
- Nicaragua Has Tenuous Relationship with U.S. The Associated Press' Colleen Long reminds us, "Leaders from 192 nations were in town for the General Assembly, including Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who is a fierce critic of the United States and a defender of North Korea and Iran."
- Neighbors Heard Struggle CNN's Susan Candiotti reports, "A resident who lives in the apartment below Mercado's told CNN he heard 'screaming and banging' from Mercado's residence Wedneday night. Mercado lived on the sixth floor of the building." The New York Daily News adds, "Neighbor Miguel Figueroa, 19, who lives in the fifth floor apartment directly below Mercado's, said he heard a commotion upstairs at about 3 a.m. 'I heard somebody banging on the wall. But I didn't pay attention,' he said."
- He Was Headed to United Nations The New York Post's Jamie Schram reports, "The driver had picked up Mercado so that he could drive him to the UN General Assembly in Midtown for a series of speeches today that also included one by President Obama."
- What the NYPD Says NPR's David Gura writes, "An NYPD spokesman said the cause of death was still under investigation, but confirmed a knife was found near the body. 'We believe he resides at the apartment,' said Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne. Police think the driver was about to take him to the U.N. General Assembly."